2016 Napa Valley Red Wine
2016 marked the continuation of two trends at Beau Terroir Vineyard, the Napa Valley source of my Cave Dog Red. These special vines, which I formerly used in my Bourriquot blend, have been on a trajectory to ripen later, which in 2016 meant September 22 and 29, as compared to September 13 in the previous vintage. Part of that is due to a cooler season, but also to increasing vine age. As the vines age, they tend not to flash sugar into the berries, ripening flavors at a more steady pace.
The second trend is the increasing ascendancy of the Cabernet Franc, which in 2016 was 42% of the total. You can sense this in the increased aromatic piquancy, more of the currant, cedar, and underbrush notes. But it also shows up in the charming, elegant entry of this year’s wine, which continues into the finish, at this time showing some fine-textured tannins. So even at 42%, Cabernet Franc (traditionally known as Cabernet Bouchet, and one genetic parent of Cabernet Sauvignon) makes itself felt in this new Cave Dog.